Music raises up: Cordillera native’s moving rendition for Ompong victims

September 27, 2018 - 2:14 PM
Rescuers take part in a search for fellow miners buried in the rubble of a bunkhouse after a landslide caused by Typhoon Mangkhut at a small-scale mining camp in Itogon, Benguet, in the Philippines, September 17, 2018. (Reuters/Erik De Castro)

A native from the Cordillera region sought to give hope to victims of Typhoon Ompong through a flute rendition of “You Raise Me Up.”

Elmo Lorenzo Inso Jr. shared a video of him on Facebook playing a wooden flute in near-perfect symphony with an instrumental version of the hit single popularized by Josh Groban, while atop a mountain in Benguet province.

BANGON CORDILLERA/ YOU RAISE ME UPI Want to dedicate this to all of us Victims of Typhoon OmpongSpecially to our…

Posted by Elmo Lorenzo Inso Jr. on Saturday, September 22, 2018


The performance was dedicated to the victims of the Typhoon Ompong, Inso wrote in the caption, particularly to those who perished in the landslide and those the loved ones they left behind.

“I want to dedicate this to all of us victims of Typhoon Ompong especially to our fellow Cordillerans/Filipino’s kababayan who lost properties and their loved ones. It’s very difficult to start all over again. We don’t know how. But God will raise us up again. God is our provider,” he said.

Inso’s number touched the hearts of many online as the video gathered more than a million views.

Inso belongs to the Igorot tribe, those traditional outfit he is wearing in the video, he told Interaksyon. Specifying his ethnicity, he said he is half-Ibaloi and half-Kankaney, members of whom have resided in the provinces of Cordillera for generations.

Inso also built the bamboo flute himself.

The scenic mountain view of his hometown was featured in the video, which was shot between the towns of Buguias and Mangkayan in Benguet.

Typhoon Ompong, the strongest storm to hit the country this year, triggered a deadly landslide that buried nearly 100 people living in a mining shelter in Itogon, Benguet, while more than 50 people were reportedly dead.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture reported an estimated P17 billion worth of damage in agricultural crops.

The well-loved ‘You Raise Me Up’

You may be familiar with the inspirational ballad from the performance of award-winning singer Josh Groban, however, he was not its original artist.

The composer and first performer of “You Raise Me Up” is an Irish-Norwegian duo known as Secret Garden in 2002.

It was Groban who popularized the song in 2003 as part of his second album “Closer,” which earned him a Grammy award nomination for his version of it.

In 2005, Westlife also produced their own famous rendition of the song and was also considered as one of the group’s memorable tracks.

Filipinos, meanwhile, are more familiar with Groban’s execution of “You Raise Me Up,” mostly performed as musical accompaniment for doxology performances in schools.